Six Figure Salary Teachers - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Six Figure Salary Teachers

Most would agree teachers are underpaid, but under a new plan some public school teachers in Palm Beach County could be paid $100,000 or more. Ten O'clock News Reporter Al Pefley shows us how the plan would work and who would benefit.

"Alexandra of course, did what?"

Dr. Jerry Holt teaches English and history at Forest Hill High. He's been teaching for about 30 years and makes $80,000 a year. Teachers like him, with loads of experience and advanced degrees, could start raking in the cash.

"I think it's about time that teachers are paid somewhere in the neighborhood of what they deserve."

The school district plans to start offering more bonuses to qualified teachers at certain schools. Those bonus would allow some to make six figure salaries. Think that's a lot of money? Holt says that's what it takes to get the best people.

"It may be attractive to some teachers coming into the profession who might've thought that certain professions would've been better for them."

Here's the catch. To earn more than $100,000 a year, a teacher has to have at least 25 years experience, an advanced degree like a masters or doctorate, and agree to go to one of the district's 6 lowest-performing schools. They could earn additional bonuses for working in the Glades area and if they're nationally-board certified.

Henrietta Junes, a veteran teacher who retires this week, applauds the idea that some teachers could earn six-figures.

"I think they're worth $100,000 because teaching is not just coming into a one-room school anymore and working with all grades. It's like a business. You have a whole lot to achieve in that one year and FCAT has made it that way."

Parents have mixed views on whether teachers should be earning six-figure salaries.

"As long as she's doing her job, why not?"

"Well, I think that's a little bit too much."

"It's reasonable. That way we can get good teachers in our school."

One parent opposed to the idea of paying teachers over $100,000 a year says he worries that it will end up costing the district too much, and other areas of education will suffer cut-backs.

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